Are You Going to Hit Me?

It was December 19th, I had just finished teaching the last class of Positive Practical Parenting of the year.

Before leaving the Center I quickly glanced through the written comments on the parents’ satisfaction survey.

One parent wrote:

“Thank you for opening my eyes to the difference between punishment and discipline. The simple idea of treating your child as you would want to be treated has already made a positive change in my relationship with my daughter.”…M.K.

Being so close to Christmas, I stopped at a local store for those last minute gifts before going home. Standing opposite me in the toy aisle, checking out the huge assortment, was a girl who looked to be about nine years old.

Within seconds I heard someone loudly snap his fingers. I looked up at the same time as the young girl, catching a glimpse of her face, frozen in fear. Standing at the end of the aisle was a man gesturing “come here” with his finger and staring hard at the girl. She hesitantly began moving toward her father, stopping short of his side and asked, “Daddy, are you going to hit me?”

I couldn’t help but wonder what it will take to make the world safe for children. We offer parenting classes, but I can only assume this man didn’t know about them.

Did you know that in 2002 a new law went into effect that requires all children six years old or sixty pounds ride in a passenger car seat for their physical safety? Is it time we pass a law that all parents take parenting classes to protect the emotional safety of their children?

Until every child “knows” emotional safety, at least in his/her own homes, our work in not done.

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